Instead of rushing around finding a last-minute gift for your partner have you considered some personal valentine’s day photography? Valentine’s Day is always a rush to find the perfect gift to say ‘I love you’ to your partner.
But how about trying out something new on 14th February and use your photographic skills to capture a romantic portrait of your beautiful partner, or even, the two of your together!
Whether you’re shooting images of your partner, or you’ve been hired by a couple I’ve got some helpful tips to strike the right mood.
We have compiled the handy and tasteful tips to make sure Cupid’s arrow hits home, and your partner falls in love with a personal memory that lasts longer than the day itself.
Maybe it’s been something on your mind for a while and you’ve never known how to approach the subject. It can be embarrassing to ask your partner to take romantic photographs of them, but don’t worry, let’s start from a simpler point.
Romance takes many forms, and every couple is unique, so we’ll break down these feelings into a few different styles, so you can think about what’s right for you.
Couples’ photography is a very creative medium, whether you are taking pictures of yourself and your own partner or you are hired to take pictures of another couple for Valentine’s Day. Photographing 2 people is much easier than 10, so it means you can concentrate more on telling the romantic story of the couple.
Maybe they’ve not been together long, or newly engaged, or even 40-year veterans – either way, every couple has a story to tell. It’s down to the photographer to see it.
Romantic walks on the beach are so simple and yet so effective. Holding one another’s hands and slowly walking along the line of the tide in your bare feet at sunset make a portrait very heart-warming and unifying.
If you aren’t behind the camera (i.e., if you are in the photograph) then the best approach is to set your camera on a tripod at a decent distance away from your position.
Use a face-tracking or sports mode and focus on your partner in the distance, and not passers-by – which is why it’s useful to find a quiet spot to shoot in.
When the moments right, press the remote periodically to capture lots of memories as you walk along the sand. You can try this out in a park, or a romantic stroll through the woods. Go to places that bring back memories of your relationship to give the photographs more meaning.
Use the same technique even if your sat down on a bench or cuddled up on a sand dune, remote shutters work on radio signals so they don’t always need to be in view of the camera, so you can hide it behind your back or in your pocket.
If you fancy being quirky, use a wide-angle lens, hold the camera at arm’s length and take a silly selfie! They always give the most genuine reactions.
If you find you are more passionate with your loved one – always hugging, kissing, snuggling then a different style could suit you.
Increase the intimacy of your shots and crop in closer to remove distracting backgrounds, and focus on the expressions. Wide apertures around F4 help blur out other features and keeps the face sharp.
But you’ll have to try and keep somewhat still if you’re in the shots as a lot of movement may result in blurry shots. Though this could look more impassioned and rawer, especially in black and white, so don’t discount without review.
Use your remote shutter button hidden in your hand and stand behind your partner, wrapping your arms over their shoulders or around their waists with your head on their shoulders or back. It’s a loving embrace to show you a physical connection as well as an emotional one.
Otherwise, spin your significant other around and give them a big kiss right on the lips! If you do this spontaneously, you’ll capture the most genuine reaction – especially if you don’t normally behave like this!
Don’t forget the details either – colour your memories by taking detailed shots of the favourite things about your partner.
• Is it that sexy smile?
• Maybe it’s those manly hands?
• Or those shapely legs?
• Possibly you fell head over heels for those ocean blue eyes?
Whatever feature makes you go weak at the knees, then make sure you get close up and use your macro setting or lens. Open your aperture as wide as you can to decrease the DoF and make those features look dreamier.
If your partner is comfortable with taking things to the bedroom, then set up your camera on a tripod poised over your bed (or the sofa) and have a little play fight, a bit of biting, tickling and cuddling never hurt anyone!
Since you’re not changing distance from the camera, then your shot won’t go blurry if you focus on your partner first. Keep using that remote shutter button to get the shots.
Take a number of shots in the same scene to make a passionate sequence, which will look great as a framed print in your bedroom.
Open your curtains as wide as you can and push the bed close to the window to use as much natural light as possible. Try to avoid using any flash, as it’ll only make your portraits look contrived and not natural.
If you’re getting a little hot under the collar right now, then you may want to sit out of this next bit as we turn the romance dial up to 10 and look at making those portraits much sexier and more provocative. This is an NSFW section for under 18’s; it’s educational but contains adult content.
Boudoir photography can feature males as well as females, but it tends to be the fairer sex that dominates the core of boudoir photographs. With that said though, we don’t want to leave those boyfriends and husbands out in the cold, so let’s take a look at how to photograph your partner, of either sex, in a much more lustful fashion.
Boudoir photography tends to be a solo pursuit, it doesn’t mean you can’t take shots of a couple together but as Valentine’s Day present it could be nice to show your partner all the things you love about them, whilst making them feel amazing.
You need your partner to be confident and willing, but make sure you give them constant praise and reassurance throughout to help their self-esteem – it’s not every day they strip down to their lingerie or underwear in front of a camera.
Show them examples of pictures you think they’ll look great re-creating, get them involved by going shopping together for new underwear/outfits and makeup, this will help them get excited and not worried.
Telling them ‘that looks amazing!’ or ‘WOW, you are going to love these!’ are all great reassurances and confidence boosters to a first-time model during a shoot.
Make sure your setting is clean and clear, hide any distracting objects and beautify the room. Change the bedding, crystal clean white sheets helps light reflect but it’s also not diverting your attention.
Keep geometric shapes in mind when posing your partner, shape legs and arms at angles to make interesting poses that lead your eye through the shot. Think about what gestures and subtleties make for provocative suggestions.
• Biting the lip can look very suggestive.
• Hands pulling on underwear connotes the hint of something more.
• A look over the shoulder, concealing bare skin makes us intrigued.
• Using hands or props to conceal private areas tease our eyes.
It’s up to you and your partner how sexy you want your portraits to be, just remember to make every shot flattering by using natural soft lighting and wide apertures. High angles work better to avoid double chins and bedding material is a great prop to conceal body parts if your partner is conscious about their body.
Feel free to throw in a few props to add a little humour to your shots, after all, only you and your sexy sidekick are going to ever see them (we hope!).
Dress up, be silly, forget about the world outside and pretend only the two of you exist for a moment. It’s important to show your love and capture it, what is photography but the pursuit of emotional memories, and what evokes more emotions than love.
Make your couples photography, Valentine’s Day photos or any day of the year in fact an opportunity to show romantic side along with your creative skills. It’s much better than a box of chocolates (but that is a close second!)
Well, we hoped you loved reading our tips and tricks on the best ways to capture your romantic side on 14th February!